OIG Audit Finds Background Check Problems In Louisiana Nursing Homes
December 12, 2023
A recently released federally commissioned report addressed background check concerns in Louisiana. According to the report, many nursing homes did not conduct complete background checks on some of their non-licensed employees.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted an audit that checked whether Louisiana nursing homes complied with federal background screening requirements. To do this, the OIG selected a sample of nine of the 276 licensed nursing homes in the state. The period covered by the audit was from October 1, 2019, to June 30, 2022.
The OIG based this sample size on several risk factors and the necessity of choosing both rural and urban nursing homes. Of the nine nursing homes reviewed in the audit, the OIG examined the background checks of 209 of the non-licensed employees. It also verified that the 77 licensed employees had proper licenses. As a result, a reported 286 employees underwent review.
The report noted no federal requirements for determining an adequately completed background check. As such, nothing states what methods or types of information should appear in the background checks. However, the audit discovered potential limitations in the background checks and adjudication methods. These limitations affected 49 of the 209 non-licensed nursing homes reviewed.
Of the nine homes reviewed, only six reportedly conducted statewide police record searches in their background checks; some homes had staffing agencies review statewide police record searches. As such, the remaining nursing homes run the risk of hiring individuals with prohibited backgrounds. The report recommended that nursing homes ensure they contractually require staffing agencies to perform complete background checks.
Louisiana responded to the report by agreeing that it would update the standard survey process. As such, the state has promised to monitor nursing homes for compliance with background check requirements routinely. Louisiana plans to sample 5% of the non-licensed nursing home staff and nursing homes themselves in these routine checks. These will be statewide audits on the files of nursing homes’ current personnel.
Furthermore, the state announced it would conduct background checks on employees by state police or other authorized agencies. This decision has inspired state officials to offer training to nursing homes on background screening issues. They also plan to provide educational material on the state’s website.
This report shows how important it is for businesses and organizations to comply with background screening requirements. It also shows that those working with vulnerable populations must take extra care with their hiring decisions. One way to ensure background-checking compliance is by working with a trusted screening provider. The right partner will use their experience to provide thorough, accurate, and timely reports for your educated hiring decisions.
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